No. 6/7 Cal Heads to St. Mary's, NIST Tourney
March 7, 2006
Date: Wednesday, March 8 / Friday-Sunday, March 10-12Place: Cottrell Field in Moraga, Calif. / Twin Creeks Sports Complex in Sunnyvale, Calif.Scheduled opponents: Saint Mary's / Santa Clara and Colorado State
ON DECK FOR THE GOLDEN BEARS
The No. 6/7 Cal softball team (13-2) stays in the Bay Area this week, traveling to Saint Mary's in Moraga for a doubleheader on Wednesday (1 p.m.) and to the NIST tournament in Sunnyvale over the weekend.Cal opens play at the NIST with a game against Santa Clara (7-11) at 5 p.m. Friday, followed by a contest against Colorado State (12-4) at 7 p.m. At the NIST, there are four pools with a total of 13 teams. The top two seeds from each pool will advance to championship bracket play on Saturday. The remaining seeds will move to Round Robin play. There is a five-game guarantee for the tournament. No. 10 Arizona State is the only other ranked team in the tournament.
IN THE POLLS
After out-scoring their opponents, 23-0 over the weekend, the Bears moved up in the most recent ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, from No. 8 to No. 6. Cal is ranked No. 7 in the USA Today/NFCA rankings from Feb. 22.
LOOKING AT SAINT MARY'S
The Gaels (2-14) host Cal in a doubleheader Wednesday. The Bears hold a 38-0 all-time record against Saint Mary's. Last year, Cal swept the Gaels in a doubleheader, winning both games by a score of 10-0. Saint Mary's, which competes in the Pacific Coast Softball conference, went 1-4 at the Indiana State Tournament last weekend.
CAL'S OPPONENTS IN THE NIST
Santa Clara (7-11) is led by sophomore Jerrica Castagno, who was named Pacific Coast Softball Conference Pitcher of the Week for her performance at the Stacy Winsberg Tournament last weekend. She led the Broncos to two wins, though they went 2-3 in tournament play. Cal owns a 66-0 all-time record against the Broncos. Last season, Cal defeated Santa Clara three times, by scores of 6-0, 6-0 and 4-1. The Bears are also face the Broncos in a doubleheader on April 19 in Santa Clara.
CSU finished third in the Mountain West Conference last year and last appeared in the NCAA tournament in 2003. Cal last played CSU in 2000, when the Bears were 3-1 winners. The Bears face CSU again in the opening game of the Capital Classic on March 17 in Sacramento. Earlier this season, CSU posted a 6-1 win against then-No. 18 Oregon at the UNLV tournament and fell to then-No. 14 Oregon State, 8-7 later that weekend.
WOODS NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Cal catcher Haley Woods was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for March 1-6. The senior led the Bears over the weekend, going 6-for-6, with five home runs, including a grand slam in the first two games of the Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament in Hawaii. Over the weekend, the Burlingame, Calif., native finished 8-for-10, with 12 RBI and five runs.